[L]et us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us…
Hebrews 12:1 AMPC
Then the Pharisees went and consulted and plotted together how they might entangle Jesus in His talk.
Matthew 22:15 AMPC
Satan doesn’t just want to hit us and hurt us. He wants to entangle us. A hit is mere distraction while entanglement takes us right out of the fight. To be entangled is to be “perplexed, ensnared, entrapped, involved, intertwined, implicated, held captive” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia). We can be entangled physically, mentally, morally, and spiritually. Paul knew that very well, and if we are disciples like Timothy, we must come to recognize our entanglements—and throw them off.
When the Enemy Entangles My Focus…
2 Timothy 2:4 NASB
No soldier in active service entangles himself in the affairs of everyday life, so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier.
“Things, people and situations come with great tentacles of complication and enormous weights of false burdens, all to take the soldier out of commission so he/she is set aside and bound by the paralysis of distraction. Paul was bound by no one, committed but never owned.
“The training is intense and restrictive. The chastisement is severe. The preparation is costly and many fall away, not fit for war by not tolerating the preparation. A disciple is one disciplined. Trained for a purpose, schooled in the meaning of the purpose so that he is committed to the cost of the purpose. Unentangled with the world. Serving one Master.”
Martha Kilpatrick, “Detached and Focused”
That phrase, “the paralysis of distraction,” is a gut punch. I always think of being distracted as going off for a walk in the wrong direction, but that’s not it at all. When I am outside God’s will, I’m not just useless, I’m behind enemy lines—and not in a good way. The distraction that accompanies all that entangles me paralyzes me in my true purpose. I leave behind what is REAL and TRUE when I’m held fast by the confusion, frenzy, or even apathy of the enemy’s distraction. That’s a sobering thought.
…He Also Entangles My Heart
When Satan grabs hold of my focus, he also ensnares my time. And where I invest my time and focus, there my heart is drawn also. Once that happens, it’s all over. Now I’m on the floor, caught fast in a net, and out of the fight. You’d think that would be as bad as it gets, but it’s not. No, what entangles me can entangle others through me.
Let’s say I’ve been drawn into a situation with quite a few moving parts and he said/she said drama of the highest order. I’m entangled, so I’m just as angry/sad/offended as all the other people involved. And like a virus, I’m now spreading this Satanic distraction to the other people in my life. I’m a living, breathing snare of entanglement lying in wait for the people I love. Horrible!
Only a disentangled person can help extricate someone they love from entanglement without getting pulled in themselves. One entangled person has the potential to take out many, many others…and the heart is the door through which they walk. As a strategy of war, you can see why Satan prefers entanglement to standard bombardment – more bang for his buck.
I can’t reveal and release myself from the snares I’ve walked into, but I can receive the discipline that comes to free me. I can tolerate the preparation for war, as Martha says, and be made ready for God’s purpose for my life. And I can commit to the cost of His purpose, throwing off all that entangles me and keeps me from my first and highest Love.